One of my favorite “getaways” with out actually having to get away very far is to the Temecula wineries. It has become customary to make our first stop at Ponte Winery, where we line our stomachs with a bit of delectable bites before venturing on to multiple tasting rooms available throughout the county. This is one of my favorite pitstops with a gorgeous restaurant patio and misters for those hot, humid days. They have a great selection of light lunch options like the cheese plate you see above. Tastings in Temecula range from $12 – $20 for 5 to 6 tastings a person. Just remember, get a designated driver. If you cannot find one, there are many services available for hire. No one wants to end a great day on a bad note.
Category Archives: Events
This past weekend San Diego celebrated pride downtown in the streets of Hillcrest. The parade, which occurred on Saturday morning, marked a great breakthrough for military members who were given a one time ruling by the Pentagon on July 19 that allowed them to wear full military uniform at the event as long as they still upheld dress standards. Crowds of people lined the streets for this parade. It was a bit lengthy I must admit (more than 2.5 hours of standing) but it never seems to disappoint. With an array of fabulous outfits and dress attire, people dancing in the streets leaping for free stuff and attempting not to get sunburned (I did), this was a great way to start off the weekend. And an epic place to people watch. Lets all admit, people watching is a great past time. Here are some of my favorites from the parade.
Canyoning has been my favorite activity on this trip so far. If you are unsure of what canyoning involves, don’t worry I hadn’t a clue either before we embarked on our four hour journey. Unfortunately I don’t have that many photos since the water and camera would not have agreed but know it was EPIC! Everyone should try it if you get the chance just understand you have to be somewhat in shape if you would like to partake in this activity; here is why. Once arriving to the canyoning spot, we put on our super cool looking wetsuits, harnesses and helmets to commence our decent by sliding down some rocks on the side of a narrow road. From there we jumped into a chilly pool of water and repelled down the face of a waterfall. That was the beginning. About four hours of hiking through absolutely gorgeous canyons filled with wildlife and surrounded by vertical mountains on either side we followed the river (more like trekked through it) down little holes just big enough for our bodies, jumped off of numerous cliffs and rocks at least 25 feet high into tiny pools of water and slid down natural waterslides made slippery by the green moss and water that covered the rocks. By the time we reached the end, we were fatigued but smiling from the sheer enjoyment and beauty. Of course we realized a bit later that we still had to hike up the side of the mountain that we just spent four hours going down. But we trekked on, just in silence from the exhaustion. It was an absolutely amazing day.
A little disclaimer about this post: this topic is controversial and may make some people uncomfortable or upset. Take it for what it is. I am not saying I agree with the concept of bull fighting but it is a part of traveling and discovering cultural traditions, whether you agree with them or not.
Each country is usually associated with a particular symbol representative of the culture or lifestyle. France is commonly associated with the Eiffel Tower, Italy with gondolas, Germany with Oktoberfest, and Spain with bull fighting. This past weekend I attended a bull fight at the Plaza de Toros in Madrid. Yes, this is a controversial event both worldwide and within Spain. The arguments between it being a cultural tradition or animal cruelty can go on for hours. It is not uncommon to see protests right outside the plaza. Nevertheless, the plaza is usually close to full capacity and the prestige associated with the “art” of bullfighting is still celebrated by many Spaniards and visitors alike. I kept these photos as PG as possible due to the sensitiveness of this “tradition”. I apologize if these photos or topic offends anyone, but it is an event that still goes on commonly today. I see it as part of a traveling experience. Feel free to comment as you would like.
Thousands of people have protested the high unemployment rates and the Spanish government’s measure in banning the right to protest before local elections. Police were given the orders not to disperse the crowds. The protestors, most of them young, have been demanding a “real democracy.” In Puerto del Sol (where these photos were taken), people slept in tents, on mattresses, or on any random furniture that made its way to the square. Rallies took place in cities across Spain including Palma, Sevilla, Barcelona, Valencia, Bilbao, and Galicia. This event was something I simple encountered on a walk home; however it is reminder, at least in my mind, that your voice can have power, especially in masses. Just look at all the protests that have occurred throughout the world. This past year has stirred up quite a bit.
Today I will be taking the time to recognize a very special person, not only because it is her 50th birthday but because she has taken a complete grasp, if not a choke hold on her life and steered it exactly to where she wants. She is seasoned with youth. It can take on multiple forms: young, old, big, small…anyone. Now you may ask, who am I talking about? At this point in time I am daunting over a lady who is currently flaunting around Paris bragging that she is celebrating the 29th aniversary of her 21st birthday. So, who is this person? My semi-crazy, outspoken, can spot her laugh from two rooms away mother who has contruted more to where I am at than I like to admit. Many of you have told me, “I wish I traveled as much as you when I was younger”. To be honest, my mother does just as much traveling if not more than I do. Take her as an example that it is never too late to change your life and do exactly what you want. Oh, and it is ok to celebrate another year, even if you do consider it an anniversary.
Happy Birthday Madre!